by Louise Forster
A true story.
Cross my heart … and stuff.
Our robust, Mediterranean brother in-law, Jon, died of pancreatic cancer. A long and excruciatingly painful death.
A loveable man with a huge heart and short fuse. He used to fire up when his immediate family did hot-headed stupid things. He had a strong sense of right and wrong and his siblings, aunts and uncles, even his mother would cop it at times. He protected his wife, my sister in-law, from a lot of the squabbling and no one dared say a word against her. He was always gentle and loveable towards us, his in-laws. He’d greet our girls, arms out wide ready to give them a tight hug with, “G’day Tiger. Who luvs ya baby.” They will always remember him with a soft smile and a warm heart.
After the funeral, we spent few days taking a relaxing drive through country Australia from Melbourne to Northern NSW. We stopped at Dubbo Zoo and other interesting places to give my sister-in-law a well-earned break. Early one morning after our first night home, something roused me; to this day I haven’t a clue how or why it happened. I raised myself up off the pillow, and eyes open, I looked at what I can only describe as a bunch of broken white lines in the form of a person gliding past my side of the bed. There was no soft ghostly-wispy look about this vision. As for me, I wasn’t in the least bit troubled seeing this. I thought, Oh, okay that’s interesting, and then I lay my head down and went back to sleep. I have since wondered whether Jon had the power to simply ease my concern and send me back to sleep. I can’t help it, I have a strong suspicion that he did this to me – or rather for me.
Later that morning as we sat around the table having breakfast with DH’s sister-in-law, I noticed he had a faraway, pensive look, and had become more emotional again. Jon’s cancer and death had hit him hard … he questioned why this loveable bloke whose heart was huge and nothing was ever too much trouble had to suffer such an agonizing death. A man who gave his girls amazing confidence in their abilities; a man who sized up their boyfriends with a ‘do not hurt my nieces’ look. Hoping it would help, I mentioned what had happened to me that morning, and how my scepticism, which bordered on ‘what a load of nonsense ghosts are not real’, was given a good rattling. That what I’d seen that morning was not a figment of my imagination, also that I wasn’t the least bit worried about the whole episode. DH is a disbeliever, the after-life, ghosts, angels, heaven and hell do not exist for him. After he’s listened to my story, his face had a weird ‘I don’t believe this stuff’ quirky grin he gets sometimes. But eyes wavering between scepticism and doubt, he told me that he’d dreamed Jon came to his side of the bed and that he got out of bed to hug him goodbye. DH said he felt him, felt Jon’s arms around him as he felt Jon’s shoulders against his, saying, ‘Goodbye mate.’ And then he woke up.
And now we wonder.
Art teacher and occasional life model Sofie Dove wants to know what’s up with Brock Stewart. Everything about the ex SAS soldier turned police officer seems to scream passion—and it’s all for her—but he just won’t express it. All she knows is that he has a past that still keeps him up some nights.
After a semi-trailer crashes through Sofie’s house and the driver disappears into thin air, Brock insists he’s the only one who can keep her safe—but can he, when they can’t seem to trust each other?
While Sofie works on figuring out why this man keeps giving her mixed messages, Brock is determined to find out who’s out to get her—as they both find out why falling in love is a bit like being hit by a truck.